By 2020, it’s expected that there will be 6.1bn smartphone users globally and more than 25bn connected “things”. The plethora of technology now available to us, both in our personal lives and in the workplace, has a huge impact on the way businesses operate in 2015. An ability to order products and services just by tapping an icon on a screen, from any location, has given customers an immeasurable amount of power. Furthermore, users can take to social channels to complain, compliment and research businesses – all three options having an influence on the bottom-line.

Given this shift in buyer and customer behaviour, businesses in 2015 have had to adapt and rethink their People, Process and Technology approach in order to respond to customers, remain relevant and pip competition to the post in the innovation game. Consequentially, customer-centricity has been put at the forefront of CxO’s agenda. It now runs through the veins of the business. Yet, for most, the best way to see it become a reality is to capitalise on these emerging technologies.

Modern technology trends, like social, mobility, analytics and cloud, are now very much a part of the workplace of today. In the future, adoption of these trends will continue to accelerate and emerging technologies will enable businesses to propel customer loyalty. They are also critical to other areas of the business, including marketing and finance – where they help shape future strategies based on intelligence.

As businesses have begun to truly understand the benefits of these technologies – i.e, how to leverage the power of analytics to offer customers products and services they cannot refuse – they have honed in on the need to embed agile practices into their wider business strategies, without considering their existing infrastructures. This challenge is a constant battleground for the CIO and their team.

Understanding this battleground is essential for the CIO to develop methods for their company to adapt and thrive in the new environment. The ‘why’ and ‘how’ is every bit as important to answer as the ‘what’. For the CIO to establish a full, all-encompassing future strategy as it relates to their company’s IT, they must first understand why this change is happening, how it relates and what the key challenges are in this digital transformation.

Businesses in 2015 and beyond must invest in a two-speed IT approach. Forgetting about existing IT is a risky move to make and one that can create concern amongst CIOs. Classic solutions have proven credibility and reliability. Two-speed IT refrains from omitting the more traditional methods and solutions from the mix.

Taking a two-pronged approach allows you to embark on your digital transformation journey and deliver IT services to the business, users and customers in different ways. This is where new thinking and new approaches regarding People, Process and Technology transformation is required to deliver services that embeds digital and the “fail forward” culture.

To achieve digital transformation companies requires combining both modern and classical IT strategies. In essence, it enables CIOs to deliver IT services in the way they are familiar with, whilst offering a new, faster way, leveraging approaches such as DevOps. This approach is critical when it comes to digital transformation, i.e., reaching the customer and enabling the business to remain competitive and innovative. But without blending the old and the new, businesses are preventing themselves from getting ahead.